February 2009, 8-1/2" by 11", © 2009, Maria Elkins, All Rights Reserved.

Above are some fused applique portraits that I made as samples for my "Making Faces" DVD workshop. If you’re interested in ordering this DVD, you can purchase it from the Quilting Arts magazine website (or directly from the Interweave Store). These are from the beginner’s segment. Believe me, they are really easy to do. All you have to know how to do is to cut with a pair of scissors! If you’re interested, the long story about the workshop is at the bottom of the page.

During Mid-January 2009 Pokey Bolton of Quilting Arts Magazine contacted me about possibly filming a DVD workshop. I was in shock, but also intrigued. After a short chat with Pokey, I agreed to do a workshop on portrait quilts. For the first couple weeks, I confess I was still dazed and somewhat paralyzed, but then I panicked and I started working in a frenzy to develop a curriculum and sew up a series of samples. It was a lot of work, but I loved it!

Then D-day arrived and my husband & I drove up to Cleveland with my boxes full of stuff. Reality didn’t really hit me, though, until I had to report the next day at 9 AM for make-up to be done. Yikes! I never, I mean never, wear make-up. I looked weird, but they assured me I’d look "right" on film. Then the waiting game began. My 10-minute segment was scheduled to film the very last spot that day. So I waited, and got nervous, and tried not to rub my make-up covered nose when I sniffled, and waited some more. But I met some terrific people in the meantime: Pokey Bolton, Frieda Anderson, Yvonne Porcella, Laura Wasilowski, Malka Dubrawsky, Julie Balzer, Loralie Harris, Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero, Jay McCarroll, Alisa Burke, (Who else? Sorry, I forget!), and all the other wonderful folks (Kathie Stull, Katherine Lamanscu, Helen Gregory, etc.) who make this all possible. I was in awe and felt a bit like Cinderella at the ball.

I arrived the second day for make-up at 8:45 to film my DVD workshop, "Making Faces." I was scheduled to film at 4 pm. I chewed all the lipstick off my lips, and the concealer didn’t hide my dark rings, but I tried to pretend I was calm, and I tried hard to remember everything I wanted to say. It was a huge relief when my filming was done. Did I say that I’m an introvert and hate being in front of people? Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry about anyone in the green room (waiting room) watching, because everyone had gone to dinner by then and only my sweet hubby was left to watch me.

So, that’s the long story. My "Making Faces" workshop is divided into four segments: a fused applique technique, a surface design technique, a short freehand portrait drawing lesson, and a discussion on how to quilt a face.

As as a side note, you just gotta feel sorry for these poor kids who, by agreeing to be born to me, also agreed to let me exploit their faces endlessly. Thanks, Lydia & Bethany! Thanks to my dear Dave, too, who was my chauffeur, pack mule, cheer squad, etc.